Two West Norfolk sports stars have received call-ups involving England.
Ryston Park Golf Club member Tiff Mills will compete in the English Women’s County Finals next week, while table tennis teenager Mollie Patterson has been named in the England Youth squad for the third year in succession.
Mills will be representing Norfolk, with six teams preparing to go head-to-head at Waterlooville Golf Club, near Portsmouth, during the five-day round robin tournament, which starts on Monday.
Norfolk will make their first appearance at the final for 42 years when they represent the East region in Hampshire. Each match is composed of three foursomes and six singles.
Club captain at Ryston Park Pam Taylor said of former ladies captain Mills: “We are very proud of Tiff and unfortunately Portsmouth is too far to travel to watch her play.”
Meanwhile, 13-year-old Patterson from Brancaster Staithe, a pupil at Smithdon High School, is in the 23-strong group named by Table Tennis England. It follows a series of physical and technical assessments held over the summer.
The squad will attend monthly training camps at weekends and during school holidays and will work with national coaching staff on an individual or smaller group basis in between sessions.
They will also all be given individual fitness and training programmes to further their development to give them a chance to compete for England Leopards on the international stage.
Table Tennis England’s national youth coach Matt Stanforth said: “This year, we had more applications than before and the standard year-on-year is improving.
“The big emphasis in the squad this year is on developing our fitness and on a close correlation between practice and match-play so we are able to compete more consistently on the international stage.”
Patterson helped Midlands to the girls’ runners-up spot at Loughborough University in the table tennis section of the 2016 School Games.
The Midlands beat a determined Irish squad in the semi-finals, eventually winning 4-3 in the deciding set of the deciding match.
It was Patterson who clinched it, saving a match point in the fourth against Lucy Craig before triumphing 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-2.
Final order: 1 England South East, 2 England Midlands, 3 Northern Ireland, 4 Scotland, 5 Wales, 6 England South West, 7 England North East, 8 England North West.
n Next week’s golfing programme for Norfolk, Monday: Surrey v Norfolk. Tuesday: Gloucestershire v Norfolk. Wednesday: Norfolk v Staffordshire. Thursday: Yorkshire v Norfolk. Friday: Norfolk v Buckinghamshire.
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